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Reducing Anxiety About Braces in Children

Child with Dental Anxiety at Dentist office

Many children experience anxiety when they find out they need braces. Even if your child seems excited about braces, they can be nervous during their first appointments. Braces are fitted and tightened for the first time during the first few appointments. It can be challenging to calm your child when they’re anxious about getting braces.

How to Calm an Anxious Child When They’re Getting Braces

Pediatric dentists work with children regularly, and they understand how to calm anxious children. It can be a confusing process, even for parents. But your dentist can help soothe your fears. Pediatric dentists use many tactics for soothing anxiety. Here are a few of those methods:

  • Reassuring your child about their appearance: It’s no secret that braces are a visible treatment for misaligned teeth. When most children are getting braces, it’s during a time when they’re desperate to fit in with their peers. Many children fear their peers’ reaction to seeing braces. Perceptions have changed over the years, and reassuring your child that there’s no stigma around braces is an excellent way to help soothe an anxious child. 
  • Celebrate their braces with a party: One thing most children hate about braces is giving up their favorite snacks. While your child has braces, they won’t be able to eat popcorn, whole apples, gum, or raw carrots. Throwing a party is a way to make this temporary ban on their favorite foods fun. Shower them with foods they won’t be able to eat for a while, invite their friends over, play games, and let them have as much popcorn as they want.
  • Prepare for the appointment: As a parent, you might also experience anxiety before the appointment. Maybe it’s because you don’t know what to expect. By preparing your child for their appointment, you’re preparing yourself. Researching and explaining the process to your child will help you learn more about the procedure.
  • Explain the long-term benefits of braces: Sit down with your child and explain that braces have benefits that will last throughout their life. Try not to tell them they’ll be grateful later. Instead, give them specific benefits. Of course, you must individualize your explanation to your child. But ensure you explain that braces can create room for overcrowded teeth, improve facial symmetry, and help teeth function correctly.

When your child reaches adulthood, braces can prevent many orthodontic concerns. If your child has braces early, overcrowding can be less severe later. If your child’s teeth are straightened, the teeth are easier to clean. If your child avoids cavities, tooth decay, and gingivitis, their confidence will be boosted when braces are removed.

Learn About Getting Your Child Braces with Massih Orthodontics

At Massih Orthodontics, our pediatric dentists are skilled at easing your child’s fears before they get braces. Not only can we ease your child’s fears, but we can also ease your anxiety as a parent. Braces can be challenging for your child, but it doesn’t have to be. Call Massih Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for your child’s braces.

Dr. Karmen Massih Inspired by orthodontics at the age of 10, Dr. Karmen Massih earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at UCLA's School of Dentistry. After earning her certificates in orthodontics at the University of Pittsburgh, she returned to her hometown of Glendale, CA, to begin Massih Orthodontics, a practice dedicated to transforming smiles for people of all ages.